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DECOR SCORE- New Furniture Parses Personality PDF Print E-mail
Written by Rose Bennett Gilbert, Creative Syndicate   
Thursday, 10 May 2012 01:51


What does your furniture tell on you? HGTV HOME’s new ‘Woodlands’ Collection defines you as traditional, classic and a bit on the rustic side.

Q: We are furnishing a new house in a development and want a new, different look.

It may be late mid-life trauma, but we've been living with contemporary furniture for the past 35 years and are ready for something new. The trouble is, there aren't a lot of choices where we live, and we're oldfashioned about ordering stuff such as furniture online. Do you have any suggestion for fuddy-duddies like us?

A: My first suggestion: Drop the "fuddy-duddy" stance ASAP. You're like zillions of other Americans who hit midlife, look around and say, "I want something new and different to come home to."

In my book, that's an enviable, evergreen attitude. And lucky for you, furniture designers have sensed your mindset and are catering to your changing appetite.

Just one example: At last month's Furniture Market in High Point — the largest in the world — manufacturers knocked themselves out to satisfy the highly personal tastes of home decorating consumers. In fact, the brand-new HGTV Home Furniture Collection introduced not just one but four different collections, each carefully aimed at a different segment of the population.

The criterion wasn't age, mind you, but mindset. HGTV claims to reach more than 99 million households each month — more than enough different tastes to inspire a variety of style offerings.

Due out later this year, there will be "Meadowbrook Manor" (think traditional, Georgian, colonial); "Water's Edge" (updated cottage style, they say, eclectic, energetic and the brightest palette of all four new offerings); "Woodlands," also updated cottage but rustic, aged and tailored); and "Classic Chic," defined as 20th-century retro, with clean lines, some curves, and "influences of Paul Ruhlmann, Coco Channel, and Hollywood movie sets from the '30s and '40s."

The most exciting features of all were little built-in surprises that let you customize some pieces to suit your taste. The back of the china cabinet flips from plain to a woven pattern; a chifferobe converts to a parquet front; shelves adjust from flat for sweaters to a slant to hold shoes. And serving pieces come predrilled for an outlet so you can keep your coffee pot plugged in.

The collections have passed through a lot of talented hands, including well-known designer Jena Hall and design director Nancy Fire, so they're well thought through. And do rethink your aversion to shopping online. That alone could brand you as a fuddy-duddy.

Q: What else is new?

A: Certainly not the fact that celebrity sells. The Spring Furniture Market imported some of its glitter from Hollywood (Brook Shields is still hawking La-Z-Boys) ... from Nashville (Priscilla Presley introduced a furniture collection) ... even from one of the best-loved icons of the l970s and '80s — the Rubik's Cube.

Now you can have the challenging little square in accenttable size, l4-inches square and lit from within so it casts a multicolor glow over the room.

Graceland casts its glow over an entire new collection of furniture launched by Priscilla Presley (with HStudio). Lots of white pleather, plush and sexy curves, but, no, they didn't serve peanut-butterand- banana hors d'oeuvres at the debut party, just champagne.

Rose Bennett Gilbert is the co-author of "Manhattan Style" and six other books on interior design.


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